Boston – Citing the recent rise in inflation, skyrocketing food and fuel costs, and record costs for housing in Greater Boston, the Boston Foundation is making a renewed investment and a call for donors to provide critical support and bolster the safety net for communities in Greater Boston.
The Food, Fuel and Shelter Fund broadens the Foundation’s ten-year effort to support nonprofits serving food and fuel needs each winter, and recognizes the power and impact of proximate leaders and organizations on display during the COVID pandemic.
"We are heading into a very challenging winter, with high food prices, unprecedented rate hikes by utility companies and skyrocketing rents that will place a severe economic strain on hundreds of thousands of families," said Foundation President and CEO Lee Pelton. "The Food, Fuel and Shelter Fund is designed to leverage our grantmaking and civic leadership resources to respond swiftly to immediate needs and inspire a broader commitment to recognizing the dignity of every person in our community."
The Fund’s initial investment, a $235,000 grant to the City of Boston, will provide critical resources to the city’s efforts to address needs in the area known as Mass and Cass. The grant will support the City’s effort to expand its mobile outreach to more equitably and effectively connect people with housing, treatment and other services, and fund the city’s effort to provide safe spaces for unsheltered individuals to store and access their belongings.
"We're moving urgently as a city to address the overlapping crises of homelessness, mental health, and the opioid crisis, but it requires partnerships throughout our city and region," said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. "On behalf of the City, I want to thank The Boston Foundation for stepping up to help us with life-saving work, supporting the most vulnerable and those on the ground in the area connecting people with services."
In coming phases, the Fund will work to:
- Support organizations and programs that prevent individuals and families from ‘falling through the cracks' by providing direct cash assistance to meet their food, housing and heating needs.
- Identify and support organizations in the region that specialize in guiding people and families toward available local, state and federal resources that provide food, housing and heating assistance.
- Redouble the Food and Fuel Fund’s legacy of donor partnership to support organizations that provide critical access to food, utilities and secure shelter to families in Massachusetts.
Funding through this program will be distributed through several channels to meet the immediate need for resources and to ensure that we act responsively to identified needs during the winter months. The Fund is not able to provide donations directly to individuals, working instead to partner with organizations that have the relationships and infrastructure to support those efforts as appropriate.
The Boston Foundation has also launched a campaign within its donor community to bolster the fund balance to maximize its impact. Beyond the grant announced today, TBF expects the Fund to begin making grants in a matter of weeks.
Individuals interested in making donations to the Fund or tracking its progress can do so at https://tbf.org/foodfuelshelter.